Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

I saw this sign as I was walking on Alberta Avenue. It made me think of the beautiful writing of the Beatitudes and inspired me to write this piece.

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in Spirit

So the good book said

Blessed are the stony benches

Where homeless lay their head

Blessed are the streetwalkers

Who struggle with their clothes

Blessed are the places

Lost cigarettes repose

Blessed are the mothers

With children held too tight

Blessed are the poets

Who gaze into the night

Blessed are the ones who listen

As the church bells knell

Blessed are the spirits

Who look beyond the shell

Blessed are the ones who work

For glad fraternity

Blessed are the poor in spirit

For all eternity.

“We Believe in 118”

"We Believe in 118"

“We Believe in 118”


The “We Believe in 118” community coalition began a sign initiative along 118 Avenue, which has  gained noticeable momentum, judging by the number of signs visible in the windows of businesses and organizations on Alberta Avenue. With the advent of Christmas, the word “believe” is highly visible. I wrote this poem as I pondered the meaning and power of this word in the Alberta Avenue community. 


As I walk down the Avenue,

I notice lots of signs

“walk”  “don’t walk”  “yield”

“line starts here”

I see as I pass by.

But there’s one sign that gives me pause,

I feel it through and through

“We Believe in 118”

Long live the Avenue!

“Believe” is such a simple word, a history of light,

a sign upon the Avenue, morning, noon and night.

The fates of those who slumber here, rest upon this word

like snowflakes on graffitied walks, lay upon the curb.

But a battle rages underneath, crying to be heard,

As we look forward, onward now—

whispering the word.